ISSUE # 92

May 2008


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click on email address to send email 
click on  correspondent or topic to go to that item  

 
Correspondents

 Jerry Byrne '60
Leo Byron  '57
Elaine Carter

George Conboy '58
Reggie Diss '60
Pat Fazzari  '58

George Febles  '58
James Fitzpatrick  '50
Pat Gallagher  '53

Jim Guldner  '66
John Miller  '57
George Morelli  '61

Jack Noone  '54
John O'Connell  '58
Bill Schofield
 


  Topics

Esopus Gathering March 27

Greater Marist Family Weekend July 11-13

 Greater Marist Community Picnic
September 6

 In Memoriam: Br. Micheal Mullin '59

Editorial Notes 

 In memoriam Fr. Bill Sears

In memoriam Br George Matthews

 

 

Greater Marist Family Weekend
Marist College              
July 11-13, 2008

The theme for the weekend is centered on the spirituality of St. Marcellin Champagnat.  Br. Philip Robert will be our main presenter.  In addition to inviting the readers of Marists All, we have extended an invitation to the laity involved in the Marist Sharing Our Call program.   If interested, secure a reservation by sending a deposit of $25 per person to Maurice Bibeau, 4 Van Wert Place, Hyde Park, NY 12538.   The complete cost of the weekend including six meals and lodging is $170 for a single, $315 for a couple. Questions may be directed to John Scileppi <john.scileppi@marist.edu or 845-575-3000, X2961 >

Greater Marist Community Picnic
Mount St. Michael Academy              September 6, 2008

 Join with us from noon to five pm to continue the tradition of coming together to share food, drink, and Marist Spirit.   Bring a dish that will feed yourselves and another as well as your beverage of choice.  Visit with some old friends and see some new faces.   If you haven’t come before, you could be one of those new faces!

The Marists All team requests that each reader who has access to our website kindly check the Contacts list for correctness of physical address.  We also need updated e-mail addresses even though you may prefer to have a paper copy of each issue. Let us know of any changes   Thanks to Jack Noone for “doing good quietly” by using his gifts to update our website and working with Rich Foy to allow for easier access by our readers.  Rich informs us that we have 450 e-mail subscribers and a little over 200 “paper devotees.”  Our team is still on the lookout for younger tech-wise readers of Marists All to assist with the maintenance of the website.   We are also grateful for those who recently sent us contributions to defray expenses associated with sending copies of Marists All to those who do not utilize the electronic version:  Jerry Byrne, Frank Backus, and John W. King.  Editor

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From JOHN O’CONNELL ‘58:  It was fifty years ago this year that "our group" ('57HS and/or '58N) would have taken/did take the habit, being the last group to "take names." We acknowledged the Marists All connection at this year's "Oh, B/brother Where Art Thou?" Sixth Annual "Gathering" in Esopus, most especially since the founder of the Marists All vision, David Kammer, had been our Master of Novices.  We especially honor our Golden Jubilarian B.Ernie Beland FMS, the "last man" standing in our group.

We were thirty-three "strong" back in 1958, and our six-year "OB/bWAT" search efforts have now accounted for thirty of the group. We're missing information now only on Milo Bushnell, Charlie Jacklin, and Bob White. We would much appreciate any help Marists All readers might give us: < OBbWAT@aol.com>.

Eight of us (Kenny Connell, B. Felipe Renato Cruz, Jim Gara, Vinnie Hall, B. Philip "Al" Lacroix, Rene Lozada, Bernie Ortueste, Bill Reffelt) have gone on before us.  The circumstances of the passing of Vinnie and Bill served to stimulate our search for each other.  This search we named "Oh B/brother, Where Art Thou" after a movie loosely based on the epic journey of Homer's "Odysseus."

Twelve of us “prepsters” and once-novices were at this year's Esopus Gathering. We were not blessed by the presence of real-deal "Golden Jubilarian" Br. Ernie Beland, nor by several others who attended previously:  Pete Kuveke, Pat Murphy, Bob St. Amand, Eddie McCarthy.  The twelve of us at this OB/bWAT Esopus Gathering were the largest representation of any group at any of them.

Our 50-year+ picture includes: George Bagnell (LI),George Conboy (AZ),Pat Fazzari (NYC),Charlie Kennedy (LI),Matt McComish ("snatched " from his nursing home in Andover, MA, by Oke and Russ and "attended to" in Esopus by our own Dr. Fazzari and hospice worker Conboy), Bill Neu (VA), John "Oke" O'Connell (ME), Vin Poisella(NJ), Bill Shannon(NJ), Rich Shaw(CA), Ed Smith (FL), and Russ Therriault (FL). Click on the photo  to see what they look like now!

Nine others were absent:  Artie Bedard, Frank "Pete" Walsh, Mike "Dom" Apostoli (FL), John "Mark" Buckley(IL), Rollie Dubois(NY), Tom Fahey(FL), Owen Gormley (WA), Mike Sugrue (NJ), and Jim "Gene" Zanni (WA)

  Of the twenty-nine of us who graduated from the Prep back in '57, twenty-four  have been accounted for...with Frank Cahill, Steve Delange, Al Hamel, John Lennon and Bob Walsh being among those not yet found.

We've encouraged the group behind us to join us next year for our Seventh Annual Gathering (April 18, 2009).  They were once about sixty strong, with a third persevering as Marists, one becoming a diocesan priest.   Forty-eight actually took the habit as Novices in '59, including the '58 high school graduates who were once at the Prep and the '59 Tyngsboro novices. Interested parties are asked to contact Jim Gargan or Frank Sutton through  (OBbWAT@aol.com  207-633-0644) Click on the thumbnail to see representatives who attend the Esopus gathering.

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From GEORGE CONBOY ’58:  Where do I start to explain the joy our reunion brought to each of us a few weeks ago?   For one thing, I ended up in the hospital for a week just a few days after returning home.  Thank goodness I didn't get sick sooner and have to miss the reunion.  I have been to three of the reunions, and I’ve been hospitalized during the other three.

        After my travels in California and Florida and Massachusetts and my Esopus visits, I have had the pleasure of catching up with so many of our classmates in recent years.  Oke’s efforts have been very fruitful in tracking our long lost B/brothers.  Br. Ernie (Beland) may be our only surviving Brother, but we also fondly remember Br. Philip Gilmary (Alfred) and Br. Renato Cruz, who have been called to heaven.

        Esopus has always been a place of comfort and peace to me.  When my children were little, we often went and camped in the woods for a wonderful few days of fishing and relaxation.  I never failed to visit with the Brothers on the property.  It was so nice to feel so welcomed in a place where I had spent my early years with the Brothers.  The cemetery was the highlight of every visit.  When I arrived there in 1954, there were only two graves.  

        Now when I walk the cemetery, I am filled with beautiful memories of the staff from the juniorate and novitiate and Poughkeepsie and my fellow teachers and classmates.  Although I can't name any one person who influenced my life, let me pick one man who recently was called home.  Br. Conan Vincent taught me general science in 1953, the year before I went to Esopus.  Br. Conan had a very strong voice and when he folded his eyebrows together, we thirteen year olds knew he meant business, and there was NEVER a discipline problem in that class.  He was the personification of the “BROTHERS” the nuns told us we would have to deal with in high school.  Now, 55 years later, I assure you that every kid in that class just loved Brother Conan.  I'll bet every student he ever taught looks back to remember that wonderful and kind man.

        Getting back to the reunion, I wish I had the vocabulary to express my good feelings that were felt during those days.  I can only advise others from our MARIST FAMILY that they would have had to be there to feel the way each of us felt during those wonderful days. 

        Perhaps the twelve of us from our class represented the largest group from our class to be together in many, many years.  It would be wonderful if all who have attended over the past six years could be there for our next reunion.  The others were certainly present in spirit. (33gcon@gmail.com; 623-308-1301)

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From JERRY BYRNE ’60:  Every year the Esopus Gathering just gets better and better. This year some new faces showed up at Holy Rosary, and everyone greeted them like long lost brothers. And isn't that who we are, or were? Perhaps we weren't lost but we have been apart. Many thanks to those in particular who got this thing started and have kept it going with a lot of hard work:  special kudos to John O’Connell and his helpers from the class of ‘58. 

This was my fifth Gathering. When I attended the first one I felt tentative about being there. With each passing year I have felt more into it and now believe that I truly belong. We have at the very least shared the experience of being called to religious training for one or more years during which time we lived in a community as young men. And now years later we come together again as much older men to once more share the experience of community life for a few days. What a great way to have a reunion...and we get to do this every year if we so choose. 

        We had a great several days.  We got to walk the Esopus cemetery rows and recall the men who helped shape our lives.  Then we spent a lot of time sitting around and talking about what has happened to us through all these years.                               

        For me it's a joy to return to Holy Rosary and remember what it was like when I lived in that house almost fifty years ago, recalling the names and faces, the chapel, the sleeping quarters, our two Brothers in charge of the house (Leonard Alphonse and Robert James), the Dec 31, 1958, New Year's Eve party the seniors enjoyed with punch spiked with wine, and so much more. 

        I departed for home Sunday, March 30th, and dropped two people off at the airport: Russ Therriault and Steve Slack.  All the way home to New Jersey I thought about what a great long weekend I'd just experienced and how much I am looking forward to the next Gathering in 2009. (gerardbyrne2217@comcast.net; 908-561-1267) 

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From PAT FAZZARI ’58:  I have just returned from our Gathering at Esopus.   Above all, I would describe the weekend as a time of companionship, of blatant give-and-take, and of pure joviality.  It was also a respite, a certain time of peace derived from just being together.

        Our group photograph is quite a documentation of what we look like now, fifty years after we first donned the Marist habit as novices!  Smiling characters for sure, standing there connected to each other.  However, that picture conveys a lot more.

        In the center sits Matthew, blind and ill, his sense of humor intact, there because of Oke's uncommon compassion and charity.  He and Russ drove four hours to Massachusetts to bring Matthew to Esopus with the hope that his spirits would be uplifted by the togetherness.  And standing there is George Conboy, the provider of a concerned care for Matthew honed by his years of working with hospice patients.

        I mention these two brothers, not to the exclusion of the others, but because we all witness what they did. And it was the entire group that revealed a generosity toward Matthew, as they transported and included him in everything we did.  To have been at Esopus, then, was to have witnessed brotherhood in abundance.  That group photo represents a group of men who have evolved, moved on, coped, and survived.

        Yet, lurking about is a fundamental question: What is it that brings us together?  Could we have been imprinted to varying degrees by our experiences at the juniorate, the novitiate, Marist College and beyond?  Or do our subsequent lives contain events informed by an underlying spirituality that is a continuation of that begun by our Marist experiences?  Maybe one reason we come together is to explore and understand this possibility.

        The weekend at Esopus was a non-threatening, non-judgmental mixture of light-hearted reverie and some serious ideas.  Still, we can ask: "Lord, why was I there?"  The group photo suggests an answer: To show that we have persevered, constantly renewing our faith in who we are, hoping that these qualities will remain with us forever.  Marcia-pat@msn.com  212 772 9113

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In Memoriam: Br. George Matthews                                                                        

From LEO BYRON ‘57:  When I met Br. George I was about ten years old.  I wanted to become a Cub Scout, and, lo and behold Br. George in his lay life was the Cub Master.  We would have the meetings at his mother's house.  She would prepare little goodies for our ever-hungry bellies.

        There was no epiphany in his life that suddenly made him whom we all knew.  He was always a warm, gentle man with a smile and a desire to do something for others.

        He would take the Cub Scouts on small adventures like camping overnight in real tents at St. Anne's camp, owned by St. Anne's Parish in Lawrence, MA.  He helped us get our merit badges with his ever-present smile and easy manner.  He was a combination father figure and a big old buddy who was always a joy to be around.  He led a simple life, and knew what real life values were.  He was born a Marist Brother.  It just took a little time for him to realize God's call. 

Rest in Peace, good and faithful servant.  Thank you from an old Cub Scout. (leo20v@verizon.net; 978-273-0868)

From BILL SCHOFIELD:  I am the grandson of John Matthews, the eldest brother of Brother George Matthews.  I am writing because I just found out about the passing of my great uncle.  The last time I saw him was probably 1995, and my family lost touch with him a few years ago.  I have been working on a family tree for my soon-to-be born son and when I searched for recent information, I found his obituary.  I must say I am deeply saddened by this news and really ashamed that I lost touch with him.  He was a very caring, gentle soul whose silly faces always made me laugh when I was younger.  When my grandfather was dying, he spent time praying with him and helping my grandfather ease into his eternal life. He and my grandfather were very close growing up. (w.schofield@easternbk.com)

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In Memoriam:  Br. Michael Mullin ’59

From REGGIE DISS '60: What sad news.  I remember Mike as one who always jumped in with enthusiasm and a helping hand when projects needed done at Marist.  On one occasion he helped me glue hundreds of snowballs and peonies (flowers) to a 4X8 piece of plywood to spell out "Congratulations" to be displayed at the graduation dinner of the MC class of '62, I believe.  He always had a smile on his face and was ever ready to have a fun time.  (rediss@ehc.edu; 276-686-5539)

 From JIM GARGAN ’59:  I was a Marist from 1958 through 1965.  My only years outside training were spent at Marist High in Bayonne, New Jersey.  I had a run-in with Br. Sixtus Victor – young monk and older nice guy who was probably miscast as a director but a fine man when he did not have to be in charge.

        I had graduated from St. Agnes in 1958 with Bob Lopez and Joe Pagano.  Br. Michael Mullin, Frank Sutton, and Charlie Straub were part of our class before they went to Marist Prep.  

Over the last couple of months, Br. Michael Mullin and I were working on the Fiftieth Anniversary of our St. Agnes class.   We had fun doing it.  We met for lunch on April 17th at “A Bucket of Blood” bar right around the corner from the old St. Agnes at 44th and Third Avenue.  We had a great time reminiscing and planning for the fiftieth.  We set it for September 7th at Donovan’s of Bayside.  I got the letters ready for the known sixty-two addresses (out of 104).  The envelopes were stamped and sealed, and then I heard that Mike had died on the 28th.   What sadness.   We then unsealed the envelopes and gave the sad news to our class members.  But we kept the date, saying: “all the more reason to get together to remember old times and old friends while we can.”

                Mike was able to get the addresses of former monks such as Br. Francis Andrew, Br. Martin Jude, Br. Rudolph Ramirez, Br. Ed McElroy, and present Brother, Kenneth Evance.  At the end of May I intend to send them invitations to be our guests as we get more organized. 

        I was at Br. Michael’s wake in Jersey City last week and knew he would be happy with carrying this on.  I reflected on how fleeting are our plans but how they must go on.

        One postscript.  I met with Br. Pat Lally about three years ago.  We talked about Br. Vic.  He knew I had had a run-in with him and teased me about it.  I said to him, “at least I went to his wake up at Mt. St. Michael’s.”  He said, “You just went to make sure that he had died.”  A funny guy, that Pat Lally… (garganlaw@msn.com; 212-785-1646)

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The following excerpt is taken from a eulogy written by Pat Gallagher in tribute and memory “to a really good man and true Marist,” Monsignor William Sears who died on January 8, 2005.   The full eulogy may be viewed on the Marists All website: <http://academic2.marist.edu/foy/maristsall/obits/williamsears.htm>. Jack Noone, a member of the Marists All team, while updating the website had noticed that William Sears had no eulogy. Pat Gallagher was asked to write it.  When Pat’s beautiful tribute was completed, Jack wrote:

a brother acknowledged…
a void filled...
a bond unbroken..
the ring restored 

From PAT GALLAGHER ‘53:  Bill Sears passed from this life to that of total spirit on January 8, 2005, knowing that for some time he had lived a fragile existence with his declining health, his weakened heart, and his injuries sustained in Vietnam. (He had remarked in earlier letters to Marists All: "I'm ready but the Boss ain't.") Maybe his attitude toward life, his exuberance, his caring for others, was affected by an event in Nam when he, for the first time, almost made that same transition close to four decades earlier. …  Four marines were seriously injured out in the steaming jungle, and a Presbyterian minister was on call to go out to them. Bill, a Marine Corps chaplain, knowing the minister was married with children, volunteered to go. In their APC, Bill and the other marines successfully found the wounded. On the return, the APC hit a mine; the wounded marines were all killed; medics rushing to the scene started to attend to the survivors, one of whom was Bill. One medic remarked: "Get a body bag for this one (meaning Bill)." But another medic said, “He's still alive,” and Bill just pulled through. (Years later after that medic graduated from medical school, Bill officiated at his wedding.)  … A born raconteur, Bill reveled in a myriad number of stories of his helping others, shaking up the clotted arteries of one institution after another, and still exemplifying his patience with those who were even more frustrated than Bill.  … To convey something of this man whom I got to love so much, I, too, can only recount a number of stories. Through each of them a wonderful, generous and yes, holy man shines through, a totally unselfish man with strong opinions, with muted iconoclastic tendencies that remained impatient with the personal and organizational obstacles that stood in the way of helping people. … Bill evinced what could only be called an extraordinary love of the Marist Brothers, for everything Marist shone through in all his talk and his letters to Marists All. In those eight letters, he never forgot "his Marist roots," and he admitted: "Everything I've learned in and with the Little Brothers of Mary has stood me in good stead through my forty years in the priesthood." He spoke always of "my brothers" and he longed to get together with his brothers at the September reunion to reminisce, to retell the old stories, and to laugh so heartily with the group about those events of years gone by…. In his last letter in mid-2004, he repeated a quote he had included once before: "The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells." For this navy man, this former marine, for this priest, for this man of the spirit and spiritual man, for this truly Marist brother, the tide went out on January 8, 2005, but left behind are the beautiful, bright seashells, thousands of them, one for each of the people that Bill touched so intimately. (gpatrickgllagher1@verizon.net  610-346-7463)

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From GEORGE MORELLI ‘61:  Since I last wrote or Marists All, many of my duties have changed considerably. As I mentioned in the first article, I transferred to the Eastern Church. The emphasis on Desert Spirituality and the Fathers of the Church (and writings of the Philokalia) was very spiritually appealing.   In 2000 I asked permission from my Metropolitan Archbishop to transfer to San Diego to care for my brother, a paralyzed Vietnam veteran, to tend to his increased needs.   While assigned as assistant pastor of St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Church, I was given  other duties: President of the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Conference of San Diego and President of the Society of St. John Chrysostom-Western Region. The SSJC is responsible for setting up international, national and regional meetings promoting Eastern and Western Christian Unity- at all ecclesial levels.  Most of the work I do now is international-national consulting on psycho-spiritual-ethical issues, integrating these three gifts.   Go to: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/Indexes/Morellix.php and http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/morelli/

There is practically nothing I do that I do not look back and refer to my Marist Formation.  I find myself in talking to others: "Well, in my Marist days, etc."   While I am so comfortable in Eastern Spirituality, the foundation of the synergia of my spiritual life contains two beautiful years I spent at St. Joseph's Novitiate in Tyngsboro and the Marist Scholasticate in Poughkeepsie.  I have developed many friends here in San Diego; some are members of the most ancient religious orders of the Western Church.   None of the beautiful spirituality of these holy religious orders of the Church can trump what I received in my Marist formation.   Although no longer officially a member of the Marists, I am a spiritual child of St. Marcellin Champagnat and all the humble, holy, unsung Brothers that came before me.    May God be praised!  In Christ's service…  (Archpriest George Morelli, Ph.D, 2579 Luciernaga St., La Costa, CA 92009-5822; counseling@antiochian.org)

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From Jim Guldner ‘66:  My wife Fran and I moved last summer to a Hovnanian development in Jackson, NJ and have found it to be exactly what we wanted after twenty-seven years in Budd Lake.   The reason for my memo is that Fran and I attended a Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on March 2, commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Archdiocese of New York.  This particular Mass honored the 121 different religious orders that taught in the Archdiocese since 1808.  Incredibly, 81 of these orders sent reps to this Mass.  I asked around for any Marist Brothers but struck out.  I heard that Br. Kearney was there, but I could not locate him at the reception that followed. (fguldner@optonline.net  973-347-9061)

From JACK NOONE ‘54:We all have our special memories. Mine were of construction with the other "monks" at Marist College and trying to stay out of Ed Mike's grasp.  He would divert us from the job we were doing and send us off on a new job.  Then Nilus would wonder why we hadn't completed our assigned job.  Also, listening to music on Nilus's stereo system in Adrian Hall, trying to learn chemistry, the long walks in the hills around Esopus, the glass walls of the dining room and study hall.  And of course, the photographic images of the Virgin Mary around the top interior of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel <http://library.marist.edu/archives/MHP/chapel/chapel/html> and studying amid the stacks of Readers’ Digest on the bottom floor of Greystone. Teaching at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset where I observed Br. Cletus Richard and the other Brothers, their dedication a shining example of true brotherhood.  When I returned to Esopus with Br. Hugh Turley, the memories of my youth just came washing over me.  It was an incredible experience.  And there was so much more!

        I keep these memories locked inside.  They have sustained me in troubling times and have shaped who I am.  I keep them inside because reality robs us of our dreams, and I feel that dreams are an important part of who we are and also because they sustain us. (jpnoone1@comcast.net  845-278-9339)

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From PAT GALLAGHER ‘53:  While down in Mexico on vacation I met two former Sisters of St. Joseph, one of whom is married to a former priest from the Brooklyn diocese. Trudy Frank (nee Collins) taught with the Marists at Christ the King and was desirous of seeing if there were any of our guys who remembered her while she was teaching religion at Christ the King in the 70s. She was known as Sister Trudy Collins in those days. Her email is trudycf@lexcominc.net. (gpatrickgallagher11@verizon.net 610-346-7463)

 From GEORGE FEBLES ‘58: I came to Marist Prep in 1955 from Bishop Dubois.   John Bantz, a year ahead, was my athletic and spiritual idol.  I left the prep in November of 1956-57.  Finished at Dubois in 1958.  I studied at Manhattan and later received an MA in Spanish from Fordham in 1969.   I taught Spanish at Xavier High School in New York City and coached track and field until 1977.  I left Xavier after twenty-five years and taught special education in the Dobbs Ferry school district.  I then went back to teaching Spanish at Scarsdale High School from 1997-1999.

        With retirement on hold, I am teaching Spanish to eighth graders in Mahopac Middle School and coaching hurdlers at Fordham Prep with my sons George (Head coach; AP History) and Matthew (computer manager for a medical group in White Plains), the jumps coach. 

        I loved the days and years I was with the Marist Brothers.  I pray for them all and obviously, they’ve prayed for me.  Deo gratias. (febit@msn.com; 914-476-9372)

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From ELAINE CARTER:  I was an Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament sister.  I met the Marist Brothers when I taught in Laredo and again in Brownsville in our convent schools.  Br. Francis Zaglauer was one of my dearest friends.  I remain friends with Donald Haughey (Austin, Texas) and Br. Michael Laratonda off and on.  It was Donald who led me to your website long ago.  I did submit some prose to Marists All as a tribute to Br. Francis after he passed away.  I had visited Francis while he was at the Allen Pavilion before he was sent to hospice.  I returned for his funeral in Esopus.  I hope to return to Esopus one day before I die.  I really enjoy your newsletter.  It has the tone of community.  It’s many things, actually.  (elainecarter@grandecom.net)

 

From JAMES (James Patrick) FITZPATRICK ’50:  I'd like to ask the prayers of the Community for my sister, Catherine Patricia FitzPatrick, MD, who passed away yesterday, April 28, 2008, at the Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, Florida.  She had a varied and interesting career and was way ahead of her time in being an independent and active woman.  She attended Our Lady of Solace School in the Bronx, St. Helena's High School, and Berkeley University. She earned her medical degree at the National University of Dublin, Ireland.  She was a member of the Medical Missionaries of Mary for a while. She practiced in Nigeria for several years before returning to the States and to the lay community.  She was a Captain in the USCG and retired to Florida.  May she rest in peace. (jjfitzpat107@aol.com  201-447-3470)

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From JOHN MILLER ’57:  I am writing this update from fabulous downtown Glen Dale – Reynolds Memorial Hospital penthouse suite #506.  First, I would like to thank my wonderful daughter Tiffany who is making it possible to send this e-mail to you.  Of course, assisting Tiffany is our beautiful and magnificent new granddaughter, Maggie.  In many respects I am on the last leg of my Spiritual/Physical Life Journey.  They can no longer deal with my lung cancer by using regular/moderate chemo and radiation  - surgery is out of the question.  The purpose of my stay at Reynolds is to build me up for what is intended to be the last possible chemo treatment.  They want to help me lose some weight, strengthen my legs and upper body, and teach me to breathe two different ways.  I am taking: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and inhalation therapy. 

I want to thank so many of you for your visits, cards, and most of all your prayers.  All of you have been part of my support group since 2002 when we began my fight with cancer. I owe so much to Carol, who has been with me 110% since the beginning – she has put up with a lot: my moments of anger, my periods of discouragement and depression, and picking me up when I was sliding down.  I owe so much to Tiffany who is always there “to get me this and get me that.”  Of course, standing with Tiffany and Maggie is Jason who is always there when I need him.

Also, please say a prayer for Fr. Tom Schiffer, the pastor of St. Jude Catholic Church who died on April 30.  May his soul rest in the arms of our Savior.  I was Fr. Tom’s pastoral assistant for the last three years. 

The good news is that I feel God is calling me to an extended ministry in my retirement.   I have cancer that will bring about the end to my life as His child and servant on earth, but there is something else He wants me to do.  God wants me to surrender to His Will and by my example be an inspiration to others in their battles with cancer and other physical ailments.  I am to continue smiling, and maybe act like a fool, to bring joy and a smile to others.  I am to keep reminding others and myself that when we place ourselves in God’s hands, everything is going to be all right. I am going to remind myself and others during times of pain and sickness what God allowed His Son to go through on that first Good Friday.

Today, I had a meeting with the docs and nurses and they say I might be able to go home next Friday – May 9.  At that time, I will be under the care of home health/visiting nurses.   On May 23, I will have another PetScan followed by a visit with the oncologist to go over the results of the scan and the date when we are possibly going to start the last series of chemo.

This should bring you up to date.  Please keep up your prayers as I am praying for all of you.  Always remember how important you are to me and how much I love all of you.

May God bless all of you – May Mary protect you – and may Joseph watch over all that you do. (brojohn2538@comcast.net  304-843-1181)

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